Peter and Sandra McCann and their children, Philip and Joy
Peter McCann, 32
During his university years, Peter and his cousin Brian joined Huddersfield Elim and soon Peter was playing the guitar in the church. It was there that he met his future wife Sandra and they were married in 1967 at Huddersfield Elim. In 1970, the couple followed the call of God to become teachers at Emmanuel High School in Katerere. Peter taught maths and science and Sandra taught needlework.
Peter’s parents had both died before the Vumba tragedy. Peter’s sister Eileen recalls vividly the moment she was informed about the devastating news of the massacre that had taken place. Just after lunchtime on June 24, 1978, the family had just returned from holiday when the police arrived at their home to inform them that Peter and Sandra, with their children and other missionaries, had been killed by terrorists in Rhodesia.
Eileen believes that if Peter was alive today he would be encouraging people – young and old – to receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord and fellowship in a local church.
Sandra McCann, 34
Sandra was brought up in a Christian home and the family attended the local Congregational Church, but in 1957 moved to Huddersfield and joined the Salvation Army. Sandra had some friends who attended the Elim Church and she and her sister, Yvonne started going there in 1960. Five years later she met Peter and they were married in the church. The couple had a little boy, Paul Andrew, who sadly died whilst undergoing surgery in Rhodesia. God blessed Peter and Sandra with two more children, Philip and Joy. Yvonne and her parents heard about their deaths on a news broadcast and none of them felt they could travel to Rhodesia for the funerals.
Philip McCann, 6, and Joy McCann, 4
At the ages of just six and four, after only knowing life in Rhodesia, both Philip and Joy were killed during the massacre in 1978.